Space Trucking with the Jules Verne ATV

 

The Europeans have several new spacecraft making the headlines.

If you are curious but have not kept up with the latest developments, then here is a short summary of one of them, the space truck known as the ATV.

Jules Verne ATV

Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV) are expendable, unmanned supply ships developed by the European Space Agency (ESA). ATVs are to be launched annually to resupply the International Space Station.

The first ATV, Jules Verne, was launched March 9, 2008. It is named in memory of the first science fiction writer of modern times and carries two of Jules Verne's original handwritten manuscripts, to be received by the ISS crew as symbolic tokens of the success of the first flight

ATVs are currently intended as one way tickets. Once their payload is delivered to the ISS the ATV is filled with waste and flown on a steep re-entry path towards earth for controlled destruction above the Pacific Ocean (in other words, it burns up in the atmosphere).

Further information:

ESA Automated Transfer Vehicle - Wikipedia

European Space Agency (ESA) - Jules Verne ATV